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1. An evergreen tree (Laurus nobilis) of the Mediterranean region valued for its aromatic ovate leaves, used in cooking. Also called bay5, bay laurel, sweet bay.
2. A shrub or tree, such as the mountain laurel, having a similar aroma or leaf shape.
3. often laurels
a. A wreath of laurel conferred as a mark of honor in ancient times upon poets, heroes, and victors in athletic contests.
b. Honor and glory won for great achievement.
tr.v. lau·reled, lau·rel·ing, lau·rels also lau·relled or lau·rel·lingIdiom:
1. To crown with laurel.
2. To honor, especially with an award or prize.
rest on (one's) laurels
To rely on one's past achievements instead of working to maintain or advance one's status or reputation.
[Middle English, from Old French laureole, from Latin laureola, diminutive of laurea, laurel tree; see laureate.]